Articles Tagged ‘Customer contact’

30 Days of Shopping, Stalking, and Tracking the Fastest Growing Retailers

Friday, June 29th, 2012

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I know I have not been writing much lately. However, there is a big reason why and it was recently released for public consumption. My first full scale research report for ExactTarget. We tracked the 100 of the fastest growing retailers over a 30 day period through shopping, social, email, website, in-store employee behavior and much more. The report is long but packed full of insights on the behaviors of retailers large and small.

More info :

For those retailers hoping to avoid the fate of Borders, Circuit City, and Tower Records, all eyes are focused on optimization. Revenue optimization. Website optimization. Brand optimization. Product optimization. Loyalty optimization. Lost for many retailers in this pressure-packed environment is another form of optimization—audience optimization. Today’s retailers are no longer creatures of mass media alone. To thrive and survive, they must earn and own audiences across an amazing array of email, mobile and social channels. The retail brands that can best leverage their consumer touchpoints to build, nurture, and grow their audiences won’t just have direct lines of communications to potential customers, they’ll have a distinct competitive advantage over competitors who fail to build such audiences.

In Retail Touchpoints Exposed!, we tracked each retailer’s efforts at five specific retail consumer touchpoints:
¦In-Store
¦Website
¦Email
¦Social Networks
¦Mobile Channels

While one might automatically assume that the “Hot 100 Retailers” are fully leveraging their touchpoints to maximize both the size and engagement of proprietary email, mobile, and social audiences, we found quite the opposite. Consider that of the Hot 100 Retailers with brick and mortar stores, only:
¦2% used in-store signage to promote email or SMS (text message) engagement
¦8% used in-store signage to promote their social communities on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
¦44% sought email opt-in at point-of-purchase
¦2% offered digital copies of receipts via email

Online, the story was equally striking. Among the Hot 100 Retailers with eCommerce websites, only:
¦22% send cart abandonment emails
¦21% personalized emails after online purchase
¦51% saw fans answer customer questions on Facebook before the brand itself

Download the full report here.

kyle lacy
ExactTarget
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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Should You Go Out of Your Way for Your Customers?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Even great businesses lose 10% of their customers annually. Keeping customers is hard work, but without them you don’t have a business. Great businesses go out of their way for their customers.

There are a lot of ways to love your customers, through social media and plain old networking events. Consider holding a networking event at your business and using social media to publicize the event. The Internet and social media is all about being shameless. If you want to be noticed you will have to be “out there.” So here’s the question, is bad publicity better than no publicity? Remember on the Internet, it’s important to guard your reputation and still get known. One way to guard your reputation is to ask your fans to comment on your blog posts or on your web site. In other words, stack the deck in your favor.

Have you ever invited your “great customers” to your business or to your house? Of course years ago this was a no-no. The theory, don’t combine business with your personal life. If you haven’t noticed, things have changed; we’ve entered into the “age of transparency.”

I think shop-at-home businesses miss an opportunity if they don’t invite customers to their homes. After all, they invited you to their home didn’t they? What a great way to say “Thank you.”

In order to build your business you have to stay in touch. My friend Peter White, is owner of “Portobella Pete’s”, a small convenience store in Building 12 at the New York State Department of Labor. Each year he holds a musical performance for his customers outside his store. The performance is offered by Local 14 AFM and is part of their month long series entitled “Jazz Appreciation Month.” It costs Peter but allows him to thank his customers and advocate something that’s important to him, and that’s music in the public schools. Does it take time to organize this event? I’m sure it does, but what a great gift to Peter’s customers.

As in life/business, some people will like you and others won’t. Forget the ones who don’t and concentrate on the ones who do. They’re called loyal customers. They like you, because of who you are including all your unique quirks.

I recently spoke at an event at EF Marlburger in Fishers, Indiana called “Girl Talk.” It combined good food and fun things to buy as well as a CEU class for interior designers offered through the Carpet and Rug InstituteKarla Shone, A.S.I.D., showroom manager at Marlburgers, spent weeks organizing the event, but it was well worth it. Her customers loved it.

This week Tim Look, owner of Lifestyles Flooring in Dawson, Michigan, will be speaking at the Chamber of Commerce and giving away Fabulous Floors Magazines. He said he thought it would be a great way to give his customers new ideas for their floors. Tim also runs “the worst looking shag contest.” The contest is very clever and lots of fun and gets Tim known as a ”70′s buff.” Fun is good.

You’ve probably heard about Neiman Marcus’s 100 year celebration in 2007. They gave away  their signature chocolate chip cookies and the recipe. Nice touch.

Do you want to go out of your way for your customers? Make it fun, different and valuable.

Lisbeth Calandrino
Fabulous Floors
Associate Publisher &
Director of Consumer Research
lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com

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